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Top Places for Bass Fishing in Connecticut

Top Places for Bass Fishing in Connecticut
Photo By Ron Sinfelt

Here are your best bets for bass fishing in Connecticut.

Bass in most Nutmeg State waters are managed through statewide regulations (a standard 12-inch minimum length limit, 6-fish possession limit). However, in Bass Management lakes a special length and creel limits designed to improve fishing are in place. Many Bass Management lakes have 12- to 16-inch slot length limits, which mean that bass below 12 inches and above 16 inches may be harvested, but none within the "slot" (12-16 inches).

Slot limits are designed to protect larger, more desirable fish from being harvested while allowing anglers to harvest smaller fish that are often overabundant. Harvesting small bass reduces competition for food and allows remaining bass to grow faster.


Duo Realis Crankbait M65-8A

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 8 feet
A highly detailed crankbait, the M65 confronts bass with a realistic baitfish appearance plus sound generated by a metal plate and steel ball. Available in two models and a variety of colors, this crankbait is effective in both stained and clear water. Price: $12.99

Sebile Action First Bull Crank

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 4-7 feet
Patrick Sebile's Bull Crank is an excellent lure, especially at that low price point of $6.95. The Xternal weight system helps to keep a low center of gravity, dig deep, and stay on track, reducing the need to tune. It features a wide body to increase visual presence. Price: $6.95

Storm Arashi Silent Square Bill

Length: 2 1/8 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 3 feet
The Square Bill's self-tuning line tie lets you burn it and still have it track straight. The circuit board lip provides strong vibration up the line and helps the lure deflect well in cover, especially downed trees. Price: $8.99

Gary Yamamoto Chikara

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 2-4 feet
This popularly-priced, rattle-equipped crankbait is designed to be worked through heavy cover and still get the job done. The Chikara features internal 3D holographic foiling that provides flash and cannot be chipped. The lure's value is enhanced by Mustad Triple Grip treble hooks. Price: $7.99

Strike King KVD-1-5-Flat Side

Length: 2 ¼ inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 8-10 feet
This flat-side crankbait has a good thumping action and a tight wobble, and that means it's a great crankbait for cooler months or highly pressured lakes. Adding some weight to the hooks helps to cast the relatively light Flat Side on baitcasting gear, especially in windy situations. Price: $5.79

Rapala Scatter Rap Crank

Length: 2 inches
Weight: 5/16 ounce
Depth: 6-8 feet
On a medium or slow retrieve, the Rap Crank is amazing: it tracks straight, then pops laterally and juts back onto the original track, ready for the waiting strike. Price: $8.99

Spro Baby Fat John 50

Length: 2 inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 0-2 feet
Spro Baby Fat John 50 This smaller version of the established Fat John effectively imitates smaller forage, and works on spotted and smallmouth bass as well as largemouth. It runs shallow at any speed, and its fiberglass lip makes it kick out and 'hunt ' frequently before returning to true. Price: $12.03

Bass Pro Shops XPS Square Bill

Length: 2 1/2 inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 5 feet
It's a good-looking lure, and fine quality for a hard-to-beat price. The XPS rattle is subdued, which is nice for spooky bass. The oval split on the line tie helps it run straight and avoid line slipping between rings. Price: $4.29

Megabass Knuckle Jr

Length: 2.2 inches
Weight: 3/8 ounce
Depth: 1-3 feet
You'll be a megafan of Megabass lures because of their innovation and uncanny attention to detail. The Knuckle Jr.'s two-position adjustable bill really gives you two lures in one, making it easier to swallow the premium price. Price: $4.29

Livetarget Bait Ball Square Bill

Length: 2 3/8 inches
Weight: 1/2 ounce
Depth: 3-4 feet
The Bait Ball is a crankbait with realistic 3D baitfish bodies inside the main body. The smaller lures inside cleverly mimic a school of shad. This crankbait casts very well and has a tighter wobble than most square bills, making it a perfect crank for clear water. Price: $14.99

Bass populations are monitored by night electro-shocking, tournament weigh-ins and angler surveys. Most of the state's important bass lakes are sampled every three years. Abundance, sizes and growth rates of bass are tracked over time to detect trends in fish population health. Since 1987, the Lake and Pond Monitoring Project has sampled more than 200 water bodies statewide.

In 2013 the Connecticut Department of Energy and Environmental Protection's Inland Fisheries division embarked on a new bass research program in cooperation with the University of Connecticut's Natural Resource Department. New research indicates that fishing causes genetic changes in fish populations by removing the boldest, most aggressive and active, fastest growing bass, which hampers biologists' ability to control overabundant forage fish species. In addition the remaining less aggressive bass are harder to catch by angling.

It may be possible to introduce desirable genes from "natural" bass populations into public lakes by stocking bass from water supply reservoirs that are not fished. This program is investigating the feasibility of this cutting edge management strategy.

Some of Connecticut's top-rated bass waters for 2014 include Bantam Lake in Litchfield (947 acres), Bashan Lake in East Haddam (273 acres), Candlewood Lake in Danbury (5,064 acres), East Twin Lake in Salisbury (569 acres), Mansfield Hollow Reservoir in Mansfield (460 acres) and Mashapaug Lake in Union (287 acres), where the current state-record largemouth was taken. Don't ignore small ponds such as 113-acre Mono Pond in Columbia, where a largemouth rivaling the state-record fish was caught (and released) some years ago.

For more information on Connecticut's bass management plan, licensing information and recommended hotspots, log onto www.ct.gov.

Don't forget to share your best bass photos with us on Camera Corner for your chance to win free gear!

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